Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Ioannis Saresberiensis Policraticus I-IV

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Ioannis Saresberiensis Policraticus I-IV

Article excerpt

Ioannis Saresberiensis Policraticus I-IV, ed. K. S. B. Keats-Rohan, Corpus Christianorum, Continuatio Mediaeualis 118 (Turnhout: Brepols, I993). lvi + 275 pp. ISBN 2-503--4181-7 (hard covers); ISBN 2-503-04182z-5 (p/b) B. Fr. 4500 (p/b).

The present volume, together with its complement, promised `in a few years [sic] time', will replace Webb's edition of I9oi; it is based on detailed analysis of the tradition, shown to comprise two editions by John, scattered amendments, and a third by Trecento jurists. These findings are supported by the manuscript descriptions and the lists of variants; contrariwise, the stemma on p. xlviii (constructed without regard to corruptions) gives the 'twins' GM (p. xxxix) a triplet - the parent of WZ - and does not account for such groupings as HP and even ZR. The once-venerated C counts for nought.

Editorial partiality takes 'Hunc unum fecit' in S for `Epitaphium Ioannis Saresberiense' (p. 3; why not 'Carnotense'?), despite its largely secular content; Webb's considat is implicitly corrected in the otherwise faulty translation at p. xxix n. 45 to consulat. At R, fol. 95r (not '95v'), Keats-Rohan seems not to recognize illustrations of the `Matron of Ephesus' tale (viii.ll).

The text is presented in unbroken chapters, with a classicizing orthography surely too kind to John (anachronistically credited with distinguishing polifrom poly- in his title); even in a scribal couplet where e for ae remains, cunta is respelt cuncta (p. xxiii). There is a welcome willingness to emend: several corrections come from Markland (though lunae (ii.lI.II) for lunam deserved oblivion; any cleric knew the luna quartadecima), others from modern scholars including Keats-Rohan herself (though sed (i. …

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